“The decade that just won’t die”: The Past and the Present of ‘80s Cinema

Aus Iaawiki

Sommersemester 2019

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Course Information
Nr. Kursbezeichnung Typ Zeit Raum DozentIn
154649 “The decade that just won’t die”: The Past and the Present of ‘80s Cinema - Blockseminar 2 PS 31.05. - 12.07.2019
08:30 - 11:45
R. 0.420 Danneil
Course Description

The phenomenal return of 80s aesthetics in more recent remakes, e.g. from Stephen King’s IT (2017) and the Netflix series Stranger Things (2016) demonstrates the undying popularity of the 1980s on big and small screens. Eighties genres have shaped audience’s nostalgic perception of an America in which time travel films and high school romances, teen sci-fi drama and action adventures met the expectations of a neon colored, postmodern popcorn cheerfulness. The enduring impact of the MTV generation is inspired by an era, in which producers took over from screenwriters, and directors like Don Simpson, Stephen Spielberg, and Robert Zemeckis dominated the big screen with their hedonistic high-concept films with plots characterized by a low intellectual demand because they were just fun! But beyond all the surface, the seminar will focus on a number of hidden cultural phenomena and how they apply to a reading of 1980s genres from a contemporary perspective. From this pov, IT is not a horror film with a teen cast, but a coming-of-age drama with horror elements in the midst of crisis-ridden America; Silvester Stallone’s Rambo is legendary for its new masculinity concept and compensatory power against national anxieties of war and political inferiority; and Breakfast Club has become cult for its sensitive study of the Gen Xers and their shared despair about a reckless future. Hence, behind all their lightfooted diversity and liberal spirit, 80s movies also employed a lot of racism and misogyny as in Soul Man and Fatal Attraction and they took on abortion (Dirty Dancing), social class (Pretty in Pink), and gang rape (The Accused). In class, we will watch and close-read a selection of representative films to uncover the hidden phenomena about the decade that just won’t die.

2009 602 503 503
2016 503 503
Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften/Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:
PO vor WS 16/17:
  • Kern: 1c, 2abc, 3ac
  • Komp: 1b, 2cd
Komp: 2a
PO ab WS 16/17:
  • Kern: 1c, 2abc, 3ac
  • Komp: 1b, 2cd
Komp: 2a